Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Isotak Ocean

Fisher's View- Day 4 ACWS Newport - The Master beats the Apprentice

by Bob Fisher on 2 Jul 2012
America’s Cup World Series Newport 2012, Final Race Day ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Newport, RI, USA for the sixth round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having won the 1967 Little America's Cup, with Peter Schneidau on Lady Helmsman, and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day 4 - America's Cup World Series - Newport, RI, USA

Newport, RI, Sunday - Race Day 4.

The Gods have smiled on the Newport Chamber of Commerce - another hot, sunny day with a slowly building sea breeze - and a capacity crowd of 10,000 spectators at Fort Adams to see not only the final of the match racing and the culminating fleet race of the 2011/2012 season but also the air drop by the Red Bull air force - like gigantic seagulls falling from the sky.

It all improved when the all-Oracle final of the match racing began. Most of the pundits were tipping Jimmy Spithill to beat his boss, Russell Coutts, but the old master displayed great determination in the two-minutes of pre-start. It came down to the final manoeuvre with ten seconds to go. Coutts and his warriors snatched the inside overlap at the leeward end of the line and luffed hard causing Jimmy and his crew to slow. Coutts had outwitted his apprentice and charged away to the first mark with a big smile on his face.

Jimmy was not prepared to give anything away and chased hard but by the leeward mark Coutts was nine seconds ahead and while that may not seem much, it proved too much for Spithill to recover. The champagne moment was Coutts' and he savoured it. But Terry Hutchinson's Artemis Team had already clinched the season-long championship from Oracle Team USA - Spithill.

The scene was then set for the winner-take-all final of the fleet race in 11-12 knots of south-westerly. There was a significant difference in distance from the two ends of the line to the first mark -306 metres from the leeward end and 361 from the weather end. Both the Oracle Team boats were hovering near the leeward end, but Chris Draper with Luna Rossa- Piranha beat them both to the punch.

Coutts, however, had speed and led around the first turn from Dean Barker in Emirates Team New Zealand by two seconds, then came the two Luna Rossa boats and Spithill was last. He stayed there down the run and the next beat but at the weather mark, Cutts was penalised for not allowing Luna Rossa Piranha room to round the mark. ETNZ had dropped to last.

Around the bottom mark, Coutts had overcome his penalty to lead Luna Rossa Swordfish by seven seconds and there was place changing throughout the fleet. Draper made big gains on the next beat to head his teammate David Campbell-James in Luna Ross Swordfish and began to challenge Coutts for the lead and was just ten seconds behind as they went round the leeward gate. Draper went to the front when Coutts was penalised for going over the course boundary and led Coutts by 35 seconds at the windward mark.

It was all over bar the shouting and with Coutts fighting off the increasing challenge from Luna Rossa Swordfish, there was no way he was going to get back in front and finished 30 seconds behind the Luna Rossa Piranha skipper and seven seconds in front of Luna Rossa Swordfish. A fifth place for Spithill was enough to confirm the Oracle Team USA - Spithill as the overall Season's Champion by nine points from ETNZ, but this race win put Chris Draper's Luna Rossa - Piranha on top of the Newport Fleet Racing Championship.

The circus packs its tents in the next three days and the entire package will be shipped to San Francisco for the start of the 2012/2013 ACWS beginning August 21st.

North Technology - Southern SparsInSunSport - NZSchaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr